Mike Trout was presented with a Silver Slugger award Friday night after being voted the best hitting center fielder in the American League last season. Trout has won the award four consecutive seasons and joins Mike Piazza as the only player to win the award his first four years in the league.
Vladimir Guerrero is the only other Angels player to win four Silver Slugger awards.
Trout hit a career-high 41 home runs in 2015, had 90 RBIs and a slash line of .299/.402/.590. He finished second in the American League MVP voting for the third time in his four-year career after winning the AL MVP in 2014.
Mike Trout/:Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
Angels center fielder Mike Trout on Thursday became just the second player in history to win the Silver Slugger Award his first four full big-league seasons. Mike Piazza is the other.
The award, given out annually since 1980, represents the best offensive player at each position in the American and National leagues.
Trout in 2015 batted .299 with 41 home runs, 90 RBIs, 104 runs, 32 doubles and six triples. He set career highs in home runs, slugging percentage (.590) and OPS (.991), leading the American League in the latter two categories.
Albert Pujols/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
The Angels needed two things to happen Sunday in order to force a one-game playoff Monday at Houston to determine the second wild-card team for the postseason.
The Angels had to win at Texas and have Houston lose at Arizona. Houston lost 5-3, but the Angels also lost, 9-2, after leading 2-1 after the first inning. That meant Houston won the second wild-card spot.
The Rangers, who clinched the AL West with their victory, scored twice in the fifth and six times in the seventh to blow open what would be the final game of the season for the Angels.
The Angels got a double by Mike Trout and 2-run home run by Albert Pujols off Rangers starter Cole Hamels in the first inning. But Hamels allowed only one more hit – a double by Shane Victorino in the second – while pitching a complete game.
The Angels finished 85-77 and won nine of their last 12 games to put themselves in position to get into the playoffs.
“I was inspired by these guys,” manager Mike Scioscia said during a post-game television interview on Fox Sports West.
I was inspired by these guys.
Mike Trout will lead Angels in the final three games at Texas/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have been left for dead several times already this season, but have always found a way to get themselves back into playoff contention.
Well, the Angels have taken a couple of giant steps in reverse the past two games, losing Wednesday to Oakland in that series finale and losing again Thursday at Texas in the first of a four-game series.
In Wednesday’s 8-7 loss, the A’s had a four-run seventh inning. In Thursday’s 5-3 setback, the Rangers had a four-run fifth.
With just three games left, the Angels began play Friday a game behind Houston for the final wild-card spot. The Minnesota Twins were tied with the Angels.
The Angels (83-76) will start Jered Weaver (7-12) on Friday at Texas (87-72), which will start Martin Perez (3-6). The Rangers’ magic number to clinch the AL West is one, so they won’t be taking it easy, that’s for sure.